Office equipment and supply stores sell a wide range of important electronics, furniture, supplies, and accessories for offices. These may range from electronics such as printers, laptops, computers, fax machines, and phones to supplies like desk accessories, ink, pens, and paper.
Office equipment suppliers also offer furniture such as filing cabinets, swivel chairs, and desks. The cost of equipment and supplies varies and some can be high-ticket items. Hence, office equipment and supply stores are at risk of financial losses in scenarios where the business contents or structure is damaged.
For instance, if there is a break-in and a large number of laptops, computers, and printers are stolen, this can result in costs to replace inventory. This is where purchasing commercial insurance can protect the office equipment and supplies stock from the covered perils on a property policy. For covered building damage that causes the shop to close, loss of business income may be reimbursed and enable them to meet their ongoing financial obligations.
This blog delves into the potential risks of running an office equipment and supply store and how to mitigate these risks with applicable small business insurance.
Every business comes with risks due to the potential hazards inherent in operating any commercial enterprise. Office equipment and supply stores must invest in expensive inventory. Following are some examples of exposures to losses:
- In case of an incident such as a storm leading to roof damage and water leakage, or a fire breaking out, a large amount of inventory will be damaged. The store will need to repair the building damage and replace all the damaged goods before they can be operational.
- Stores are public spaces frequented by visitors and customers. Hence, there is scope for accidents resulting in injury occurring on the premises or from products sold. In some cases, the customer may end up filing a lawsuit against the store due to medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
- Office equipment supply stores also have employees as drivers, cashiers, accountants, and customer service. Employees may incur injuries at the workplace or while off premises, performing their duties, like a driver.
- Another common scenario is when a company vehicle transporting office equipment meets with an accident. The driver and passengers may be injured, and there may be significant damage done to the vehicle. Depending on fault for the accident, there could be damages owed to others.
- There is also potential for the store itself to be vandalized and inventory to be stolen.
By purchasing commercial insurance, office equipment and supply stores can protect themselves from these scenarios. It is a constructive step towards building a sustainable business.
Types of insurance to consider
It is advisable for office equipment and supply stores to invest in comprehensive commercial insurance that covers various risk scenarios, as follows:
General Liability Insurance
This type of commercial insurance protects office equipment and supply stores from specific claims made by a third party. These scenarios may arise due to accidents, negligence, product liability, or damaging the property of others. For instance, if a customer gets injured on the store premises they may file a lawsuit for damages. Even if it is not the store's fault, they may do so because they want to recover the medical expenses and other losses incurred by them due to the injury.
Commercial Property Insurance
The inventory could be damaged because of incidents such as a fire, hurricane, riot, lightning, and incidents of theft and vandalism. The damaged goods will need to be replaced, and replacing the items will come at a considerable cost.
By investing in commercial property insurance, business owners can be compensated for damage or loss to physical assets, from buildings and furniture to office equipment and stock. Commercial property insurance pays for the physical assets to be replaced, for covered claims.
Business Income Insurance
This type of insurance enables business owners to earn an income during a temporary shutdown of their stores due to covered property damage to the structure occupied. If a fire burns the store down, during this period, business owners will not be earning any revenues, as the store is not operational. Business income insurance compensates for lost income, which can go towards expenses such as rent, mortgage, and payroll.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
This is another important type of business insurance for office equipment and supply stores that employ both full and part-time employees. Workers' compensation insurance covers expenses incurred when an employee is hurt in the workplace. There are a number of medical expenses, such as ambulance, emergency services, diagnostic testing, and ongoing medical care, that the injured employee will incur.
The employee may also lose income during this time if they are unable to work while they recuperate. Worker's compensation insurance covers medical costs, partial wages, and a death benefit in case of fatalities.
Commercial Auto Insurance
This commercial auto insurance category covers several scenarios that arise due to transportation relevant to owned and rented vehicles. Say a vehicle meets with an accident while transporting goods, auto insurance covers the physical damage caused to the vehicle when comprehensive and collision coverage is purchased on the automobile. Business Auto insurance can cover the following: auto bodily injury and property damage liability, medical payments, personal injury protection (PIP) or no-fault (NF), comprehensive and collision coverage on owned autos, uninsured or underinsured motorists, rental reimbursement, towing, hired and non-owned auto liability, and coverage for permanently attached equipment. These coverages are not all automatically included. For instance, you would need to ask for liability coverage for hired vehicles or your employees use their vehicles for business purposes.
Based on the unique needs of the business, office equipment supplies stores can go for comprehensive insurance that can protect them from various hazards. It is best to look at a customized commercial insurance program that is most relevant to the specific needs of the business. Usually, this entails more than one policy. Remember, this is an investment in the long-term sustainability, security, and scalability of the business.